Being a father of three sons and a daughter, I often need to come up with advice about life. Frankly, I don’t feel particularly qualified because I am still trying to figure it out myself. There was a song I used to like that alluded to this saying something along the lines of once you have life figured out, its gone. So, what can I tell the kids about life?
One thing I have come to think is that making plans is somewhat useless. Most books and experts these days will tell you that a plan is a must but you know, I can’t agree. It’s good to have a vision and dreams for sure and its OK to chase those dreams. In fact, we must have dreams but a plan? Is life for planning? Do we all need to go out an buy MS Project and create a Gantt chart plan of how we want our lives to be? If we do, I suspect we are wasting our time.
To me, life changes from moment to moment. It’s somewhat unpredictable. Yes, we create our reality from moment to moment but we mostly do it unconsciously. We are driven by ego, fear, wants, and so called needs, and these often are the building blocks for our life plan. I think this is where I can offer some sage advice to my kids – its all BS. It is. This isn’t planning your life. This is allowing your life to be planned for you! This is living in the matrix.
Since most of us lack the ability to properly co-create our reality, life often feels outside of our control. This is an illusion. Life may send us some challenges and some tests (and those challenges won’t go away until we properly address them), but we do have control. Though, I cannot do it for long periods, simply relaxing and letting go isn’t a bad strategy. Something like belting yourself in and trying to enjoy the ride. This approach also means that we are not really creating anything but reacting to things.
One approach I have taken is to simply identify the next point in my life. I describe this as point A to point B. If I identify point B and work towards this then I may actually get there and I may not finding instead something else along the way. The idea though is that in getting to point B, we open up a whole new world of choices, events and people – opportunities – that were unseen at point A. This is short-term goal setting with long-term uncertainty! Point B throws up a myriad of new possible outcomes unseen and unthought of at point A.
The beauty of this approach is that I can focus on point B in such a way as to help create that reality. I can imagine achieving my goal, imagine what it feels like and know with certainty that I am fully capable of achieving it. It’s life in bite-sized chunks.
When I look back at my life, this is how it developed. Initially more or less randomly driven by impulse, interest and passions but now, as I grow older and I trust a little wiser, I do actually have some power to influence and create the reality of my life.